The weather is teasing me! I think I’m gonna get some sun and then bam it disappears and it’s freezing again. But Spring is on the horizon, so I’ll stop complaining about the weather soon, LOL.

In writing news, I’m editing Charlie and Randolph with a little help (or a lot) from my amazing team. It’s now available for preorder so I’ll share the details about that below. 

My next project will be Secrets of the Soul, the next book following Shadows of the Soul and Scars of the Soul, but I realized I need to do a reread before I delve back into that world. 

This week on the blog we have Ellie Thomas and Shelby Rhodes, so snuggle in and get comfy!

Charlie and Randolph

Fated Fantasies Book#4

Magic, mayhem, and a dash of mystery. Racing against the sands of the hourglass, with an unseen evil intent on causing division – staying sane is priority number one.

Charlie Hazelwood has always lived his life for others… and has always fallen short. Since meeting the Array, his life has been one hectic mess after another, and still, he hopes for something or someone to hold onto.

Randolph Holloway lives for chaos. He can’t help it – his mind is wired that way. When he is called to a mysterious mansion to help an enigmatic dragon lady in distress, he can immediately see why his skills are needed. What he hadn’t expected was meeting someone who would change his life forever.

While the Fates have their plans set in stone, someone else is intent on causing trouble. After barely saying hello, the pair are swept apart by the one thing that makes Randolph different – his incredible mind.

Triggers – this story mentions the death of a parent, there is some physical violence, a blood sacrifice is alluded to on page, and vague references to past trauma that some readers may find difficult to read. If these are triggers for you, then please don’t read this book.

However, if you are looking for Mafia seagulls, manic MCs, magic, unusual shifters, and a cute kid for a dash of sweetness, then this is the story for you.

Author Bio

Ellie Thomas lives by the sea. She comes from a teaching background and goes for long seaside walks where she daydreams about history. She is a voracious reader especially about anything historical. She mainly writes historical gay romance.

Ellie also writes historical erotic romance as L. E. Thomas.

Ellie’s Quirky Questions

Holly: What’s the most read book on your bookshelf?

Ellie: I only have shelf space for reference books (if I collected physical fiction books, I’d be a candidate for one of those hoarders’ house clearance tv programmes!) My most-read book really depends on which historical period I’m writing about.  I’m lurking around the 18th century and the Regency currently, so my most read book is Cant: The Language of Rogues in Georgian London by Stephen Hart. It’s a treasure trove for all kinds of colourful archaic words!

Holly: Where do you like to write?

Ellie: On my laptop at the kitchen table! But when I have the freedom of a notepad, I love scribbling down my ideas when I’m sitting outside. Fresh air (and sunshine when I can get it) is good for creativity and the soul.

Holly: What is the most meaningful thing a reader has said to you?

Ellie: A few of my regular readers have said something along the lines of comparing my stories to a warm hug. I can’t think of a nicer endorsement!

Holly: Let’s talk to your characters for a minute – what’s it like to work for such a demanding writer?

Ellie: It’s the other way around! Frankly, I don’t think most of my characters are aware that I’m there. They just come traipsing into my head without a by your leave. Especially Percy Havilland the Regency himbo from my Twelve Letters series. He demands constant attention. He’s even managed to sneak out of his own books and into my latest story Town Bronze!

Holly: How many books have you written, and which is your favorite?

Ellie: I’ve written over twenty five novellas, and I love all my characters, but I keep returning to my Twelve Letters series ensemble cast. My new story, Town Bronze exists in the same parallel world of Regency London and I had to a mention of a few of my Twelve Letters boys!

Holly: Which scene in this book was the most fun to write?

Ellie: I’m going to have to admit that this entire story was built around a joke about a cauliflower! In Regency times, the word referred to the vegetable and old-fashioned wigs that were worn in the previous century. My young MC Jasper, when drunk, manages to insult older gentleman Sir Mortimer Cleverly’s magnificent mane of silver hair by comparing it to both sorts of cauliflower! Jasper’s consequent excruciating attempts at apologising were a hoot to write.

Holly: If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

Ellie: Town Bronze is the first of a three-part series with the second story, Petticoats and Pantaloons (Town Bronze Book 2) due for a November release. I’m just about to start writing the third story, Impeccable Credentials which will most likely be out in January.

The sequel is about Jasper’s friend Barney, another callow young man about London, who falls for Rose, otherwise known as Ross. Town Bronze started as a one-off story. But when I was halfway through writing it, I was inspired by the idea of two of Jasper’s friends meeting their unexpected romantic matches.

Holly: What would you and your MCs talk about if you went out for coffee?

Ellie: Since Regency coffee houses were male-dominated establishments, I imagine my MCs would be speechless with horror to find a woman on the premises!

Town Bronze

At twenty-one, Jasper Goodhew is delighted to be freed from his parental constraints in rural Somerset and enjoy the delights of Regency London during the Season. As a follower in the fast set that runs around young buck Julian Buchanan, Jasper encounters many pleasures, from the elegance of Mayfair parties to the tawdry entertainments of Covent Garden’s taverns and brothels. However, when he meets silver fox Mortimer Cleverly, he discovers a hidden propensity for spanking.

Sir Mortimer is a seasoned and experienced gentleman who can spot a confused innocent at a hundred paces. Yet he’s unable to resist Jasper’s clueless appeal at least once. He feels a lurking sense of responsibility when Jasper returns for more. Aware of the dangers of such a connection with a confused young man, Mortimer attempts to mentor Jasper, leading them onto the safer ground of friendship.

But will the combination of his increasing attachment and Jasper’s irresistible compulsion foil their best intentions?

Teaser from Town Bronze

The next part of Jasper’s evening passed in patchy coherence. The older gentlemen departed with dignity almost immediately after Jasper’s inadvertent blunder. With his wine glass replenished more than once by a luscious attendant, Jasper almost forgot about the impact of that searing gaze.  

He was vaguely aware of some of his companions departing with young ladies. Others were content to remain, drink deep, and dandle a damsel on their laps. Minutes or hours progressed in a pleasant haze until Jasper reached the point where he had drunk himself sober. 

Relatively clear-headed and suddenly thirsty, Jasper rose on remarkably steady legs to fetch a glass of water from the drinks tray on the capacious sideboard.

This gave him a clear view of the entrance hallway. The vestibule was empty, apart from the three gentlemen earlier expelled from the drawing room by an excess of wit. 

The gentleman with the remarkable hair was shaking the hands of his companions with a few congenial words. In that instant of seeming sobriety, it was terribly important for Jasper to make amends. He couldn’t have fathomed if this was due to his basic good manners and general inoffensiveness when not as drunk as a wheelbarrow. Or perhaps he was prompted by the infinite unimaginable possibilities in those haunting eyes.

He entered the hall as the gentleman escorted his companions towards the exit. Jasper stood uncertainly in front of the central staircase, awaiting his opportunity. Once his companions had departed, the remaining gentleman approached a further another doorway off the hall.

“Excuse me,” Jasper said, belatedly adding, “Sir.”

The gentleman turned, raising an inquisitorial dark brow that made him no less forbidding. 

During Jasper’s formal education, he occasionally got into trouble. To be fair, these incidents occurred either from absent-mindedness or when he tagged along in the wake of more exuberant and imaginative students. Any resulting discipline, a removal of privileges or corporal punishment, was a matter of course and not taken personally. His sporadic visits to the principal’s study were desultory and instantly forgotten by the disciplinarian and the culprit. 

This charged confrontation was entirely different. Jasper was unnerved by the swooping feeling in his belly as he faced his unknown foe. The older man drew closer but remained silent, his face expressionless, that implacable glare holding a sense of threat and thrill.

“I think I was somewhat discourteous earlier, and I wanted to say I was sorry. I didn’t mean to be rude. We were all getting rather carried away and had too much to drink. I know it was a bit much, and we were rather close to the mark concerning you and your friends. But I suppose you were young once too, eh?”

Jasper tried and failed to raise a placating smile. The gentleman didn’t move a muscle and stared at Jasper as though regarding a failed scientific experiment.

“I mean to say, I was a bit bosky, and I wasn’t thinking straight. Anyone with decent eyesight could tell that’s your natural hair. You’re nowhere near old enough to be wearing a wig. You’d have to be in your dotage. And you’re not. Naturally. No one would think you’re wearing a cauliflower of the wig variety, and it doesn’t remotely resemble an actual cauliflower. I don’t know why I said that. You have very nice hair.”

Jasper’s ramble stuttered to a stop. Without softening his expression, the gentleman said, “You were insolent.”

Jasper blinked. He suddenly grasped his opponent was slightly the taller and his lean build held latent strength. He felt paralysed, like a snake to its charmer, in thrall to the depths of that gaze.

“I think you deserve to be punished.”

Jasper gulped.

The gentleman’s voice was persuasive. “You’ve earned a good thrashing.”

In a husky tone Jasper didn’t recognise as his own, he said, “I’ll let you be the judge of that. I’ll do anything you require.”

That eyebrow rose again. A glint of humour lit those night-dark eyes.


“Yes. No. I don’t know.”

Author Bio

Shelby Rhodes is a lover and writer of MM Paranormal Romance novels, but any genre is up for grabs. She loves building worlds and creating new realities. In her books you can expect to find a mix of humor and fluff with a dash of blood and violence. And while dramatic and comedic monologues may be her favorite things, that doesn’t mean she won’t try to rip your heart out.

Shelby’s Quirky Questions

Holly: If you could create a new holiday, what would it be? Why?

 Shelby Rhodes: A mix between Halloween and a birthday, so like a spooky birthday with candy. Happy Birthween or Happy Hallowday… So, basically, it’s Halloween on everyone’s birthday, so we get to celebrate Halloween all year round.

Holly: When did you first call yourself a writer? 

 Shelby Rhodes: At my first published book. Even so…the feeling of being an imposter was there for a long time. It lessened when I consciously made the decision to focus on writing full-time. And even more so when my parents finally acknowledged that this was a sustainable path for me and not just a pipe dream.

Holly: Do you play music while you write — and, if so, what’s your favorite?

Shelby Rhodes: I’ll admit when I first started, I used to listen to music a lot as a wrote. But nowadays, I find silence more helpful. Though, I still do sometimes. And if I’m listening to music it’s normally BTS. Unless I’m editing. I can’t edit to BTS. lol, because trying to sing along in a different language while I’m trying to fix another is too much for my brain to handle.

Holly: What secondary character would you like to explore more? Tell me about them.

 Shelby Rhodes: All of them, hehe. Okay, if I had to pick one, then…Tony. Tony is Foxx and Harlow’s hardass boss. He is the director of the Houndside Hazard Hunter’s Guild. The man is human and in his sixties, but is in pretty good shape for his age. He was a hunter back in his younger days and has known Harlow since the man started hunting. That being said while he is constantly aggravated by Harlow and may possibly sometimes wish the other human made a misstep while hunting so he’d have less headaches to deal with, Tony is someone with a strong moral compass. Before paranormals were revealed to the world, he never killed all he came across. He never believed they were all evil. And he wouldn’t let anyone compromise his morality by killing those he saw as innocent. In fact, if he thought a vampire or whatever he came across was innocent, and he was not working alone…he’d kill the other hunter if they refuse to let him take the creature someplace safe. Anyway…. he also currently has a wife…a gold digger of a wife. Ahh, the headache coming his way, LOL. 

 Holly: Who has been your favorite character to write and why?

 Shelby Rhodes: In this book, Foxx. Hand’s down Foxx. Harlow is amazing, grumpy and a psycho, but Foxx is chaotic, petty, British insanity. He is just this ball of sunshine that loves dressing cute, but he is also not a pushover. You piss him off and he will let you know it, either by calling you out, or enacting petty revenge. His unending need to talk is also hilarious to me. I love that so many take one look at him and underestimate his danger level. Because make no mistake, Foxx, is dangerous and just as insane as Harlow but in a different way.

 Holly: What was the weirdest thing you had to Google for your story?

Shelby Rhodes: There wasn’t really anything weird for this book. Though, in a different series I had to google recipes on how to cook animal brains. The pictures…

Holly: Let’s talk to your characters for a minute – what’s it like to work for such a demanding writer?

 Foxx: See this is where you are mistaken. Shelby works for us. We just have to exist and live our lives while she writes down our every move. Well, she doesn’t write down everything. There are plenty of things she sees that she just keeps to herself. Rude of her to decide what is and what is not important to write down. And then, the things she DOES show…invasive!  Like, how are my kinks and sex life any of the readers business?! *Clears throat* Nonetheless, it’s no effort on our end.

 Holly: What do you do if you get a brilliant idea at a bad time?

 Shelby Rhodes: Make a note on my phone, because I always have it with me. Or…I just hope I remember it later LOL

Holly: How long have you been writing?

 Shelby Rhodes: Since 2017, but after writing three books, I took a break for three years. There was a variety of reasons. One of them was my family was going through some medical issues that, at the time, pretty crushing. The other was basically writing didn’t seem like a possible full career path to me at the time. I was with a publisher back then, and the results weren’t the best. So, I went back to school… with the intention to have another career by the end of it while also writing on the side. That didn’t work out. I got my degree and due to some stupid issues, one ridiculously enough being that I am too educated, I will never get a chance to use the degree I received. Even so, after getting the degree, before I realized the problems I would be facing, I returned to writing in 2021. I released one more book with the publisher due to previous contracts (that I am still waiting on to expire). Even so, at the time I submitted the book I already decided that would be the last book they would be getting from me. 2022 marked the year that I started to self-publish.

 Holly: Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

Shelby Rhodes: Kind of continuing my previous response, 2022 was also the year I decided to focus on my writing career. So, I am full-time. Right now, I’m at a point where I need to make sure my schedule is balanced so I don’t burn out. Going at a fast pace is good and all, but not taking a break when you need one is a great way to end up burned out.

Holly: Are you a plotter or a pantster?

 Shelby Rhodes: Plotter all the way. I write a full chapter by chapter outline before each book. It helped me stay focused. Though it really depends on the chapter when it comes to how developed the outline is. Sometimes there will be a few paragraphs and sometimes it’ll be a single line. That being said, even with an outline things change as I write them. It is more there, so I don’t feel stuck when I’m writing. I know my direction even if that direction changes as the words flow. 

 Holly: How many books are you usually working on at the same time? How many unfinished WIPs do you have?

 Shelby Rhodes: One. I need my full focus to be on the book I’m trying to finish. My head gets too crowded if I’m working on more than one book at once. But I have two unfinished WIPs. One, because I stopped a book once when a character got too demanding that their book be written, and the other happened during an attempt to write more than one book at once.

At First Irritation

     Welcome, welcome. I can only guess you are here to read about my wonderful adventures? Oh, you don’t know who I am? Well, I’m Foxx Honeywell. An adorable, fierce vampire with a kink for violence. Any who, this marks the beginning of my story. A story of violence, blood, possibly pain, and love. Though, the love part is not so apparent at first.

     So how does this story start, you may ask? Well, it starts with a simple—okay, maybe not so simple—law change, and a new job. I, Foxx, join the notorious Hunters Guild. An organization that used to murder my kind indiscriminately. But that was in the past. We’ve moved on and forward to better things, as paranormals are legal now! Yay, legal…

     However, joining this government agency of questionable morals was just the catalyst of it all. Sure, the job is fun; lots of killing, maiming, blood, and even some explosions. But what is an adventure if you are all on your own? Boring, that’s what. No, the true satisfaction and fun comes not just from the job but from my partner on the job, Harlow Blackmore. The man is a sexy, silver fox of a human, who may or may not be a psychopath. He also possibly finds me irritating as hell. As any rational adult would, I choose to ignore those last parts and focus on the sexy! It will surely all work out in the end!

CONTENT WARNING: This is a slow burn M/M paranormal romance series with heat. There will be blood, violence, gore, torture and death. Please do not read if you find any of the previous triggering.

Teaser from At First Irritation

Harlow stood there, arms crossed, in the parking lot of Fran’s. The sun had yet to rise, but the sky was starting to lighten. He had arrived early. Two large duffle bags sat by his feet, along with two packs of water, containing twenty-four sixteen-ounce bottles each. The first pack would probably be gone in less than a day. Harlow knew they wouldn’t last for the whole trip, but he could just stop by a store when he needed more.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying to decide if he should just rip into one of the packs of water or smoke. It would probably surprise many, but Harlow didn’t smoke because he enjoyed it, or because of an addiction. He smoked to distract himself from the need to drink liquids. In fact, he sort of hated the taste of it, and the smell, though he had gotten used to both.

At the sound of a car’s tires crunching over the pavement, he opened his eyes. Harlow’s eyes widened at the car he saw approaching. It was a baby blue Mini Cooper with a white roof, two white strips on the hood, and…it had white polka dots over the blue. “He can’t be fucking serious.” Harlow groaned out loud. Was his ass even going to fit in that car?

The windows were dark enough that it was hard to see inside, but he knew that was due to the UV protective coating on the windows. From the other side, they were no doubt almost clear to the driver looking through.

Harlow grimaced in disgust as the Mini Cooper pulled up to him. The driver’s side window rolled down, revealing Foxx, looking extra cupcakey. He was wearing a baby blue sweater with a cartoon sun on it. His large aquamarine eyes stared up at him in excitement, his crooked smile out in full force. Oh look, no bald spot. “Hello, partner!” The trunk popped. “Go ahead and put your things in the boot, and let’s be off on our adventure!” 

Boot? Adventure? Harlow shook his head, but didn’t bother responding to the vampire’s nonsense. He quickly put both duffle bags in the trunk, on top of Foxx’s, and then went to the back door to set the water on the floor behind Foxx, so he could reach them. On one of the back seats, strapped in, was an electric cooler, which he was going to guess probably had blood in it. 

“That’s a lot of water,” Foxx commented, big eyes staring at him as Harlow situated the packs on the floor. 

Harlow didn’t respond, instead he straightened and slammed the back door. Taking a deep, calming breath, he pulled the passenger’s side door open. Pulling the lever by the seat, Harlow set it back as far as it would go, and squished himself inside. Even setting the seat all the way back didn’t help much. “You had to have a tiny a$$ car?” he grunted.

Foxx gave him a hesitant smile. “Being fun-sized, I generally…don’t buy large vehicles. Buckle up! Oh, and I do ask that you refrain from smoking in my car. I noticed the scent the first time we met.” 

He nodded, even as his mind was stuck on the word ‘fun-sized’. That was one way to describe being short as shit. As he buckled up, he made a plan to immediately find a body shop, when he got back from this case, to get his windows up to code for Foxx. He never wanted to step foot in this monstrously tiny car again. 

Foxx started driving, and the vampire managed to stay silent for about five minutes before the questions came.

“So, Harlow, did you have a nice morning?” 

Harlow snorted. “I was woken up at half past five… What do you think?”

Foxx giggled, and then the words just rushed out. “I can’t say I’m a morning person either. In fact, I can be an absolute sourpuss when I’m forced to wake up early. I usually hiss and growl, and do all I can to try to get a few extra minutes or hours of sleep. My best friend says the best method to wake me up is to steal all my covers because I hate being cold. Which, if you ask me, is a bit rude, don’t you think? Stealing someone’s warmth away is just downright cruel. Though, now that I think about it, our mornings are a bit switched, are they not? While you were woken up, I was just putting my PJs on, about to sit down and relax a few hours before bed. I suppose now I’ll have to get used to having a sleep schedule that may not be exactly normal for my species. What is your sleep schedule like? Does it switch, or stay a bit more normal for humans? It would switch, wouldn’t it, depending on what you are hunting?” 

Harlow stared, his brain trying to catch up with the amount of nonsense Foxx had managed to say without taking a single breath. He knew for a fact that while vampires could hold their breath longer than humans, they did still need to breathe. What question did Foxx even expect him to answer? The man hadn’t even paused after asking most of them. Why the hell was he so peppy without sleep?! Wait… Foxx hadn’t slept… This was his chance for quiet! 

“Being a hunter does mess up your sleep, which is why you need to take every chance you have to rest when you can. Why don’t I drive and let you take a nap, hmm?” Harlow asked with a forced smile as he reached back and punched a hole into the plastic around the water bottles before he yanked one out. He’d just unsealed the lid and brought it to his lips when the next onslaught of words came at him. 

“Oh, what a kind suggestion. I am a bit knackered. Though I could keep going for quite a while.” Foxx hummed. “Oh, but shouldn’t we use this time to get to know each other, being new partners and all? I won’t necessarily be down and out without one day of sleep. I really want this all to work out. I want to get to know you. What do you think? I mean, if you are worried that I’m too tired to drive, I suppose I understand. There is always time later. Who knows how long this case will last. It could mean even more sleepless nights. Which could add up to a dangerous level. And there will always be more cases. I suppose you are right. It’s best to let the one with the most sleep drive for now.” Foxx nodded to who the hell knows which part as the vampire held a whole conversation with himself. 

Harlow tried not to choke as he chugged the water down, thinking in horror that this was what he was going to be subjected to…for who knows how many years to come. Could he get away with killing him? So what if one vampire was to go missing? No… No… He knew for a fact, the first person Tony would look at would be him. Maybe he’d get lucky, and Foxx would die a few hunts in. Surely, whoever they replaced him with couldn’t be any more annoying? 


I’ve been lucky enough to read a few of Katherine McIntyre’s books lately, and this one… OMG, it blew me away. 

I planned on a few chapters before bed, and now it’s well past midnight, and I’ve finished. I should have known better. To be honest, something about how Kat tells a story has me hook, line, and sinker. Rhys and Cole were no exception.  Rhys, talk about hot mess single dad goodness! More, please. And Cole, the sweetest bear on the planet. Throw in a cute kid, a pampered pup, and another all-star cast of awesome friends, and I’m down the rabbit hole desperately waiting for the next book. I haven’t read much first person, but I loved every word. I was immediately immersed in this new world, and it gave me a much-needed escape from reality. Now the hard part… waiting for the next one!

Grab your copy here.

Dianna Roman was a new to me author when I read Until I Saw You… Let’s just say she’s become an automatic 1-click author for me ever since.

When I saw In the Eye of the Beholder – the highly anticipated follow-on, needless to say, I snapped it up. 

This is such an emotionally charged book. A slow burn that made me laugh and cry and feel all the good things! Two broken hearts finding home. Yes, please!

You can grab yours here.  But I highly recommend starting with Until I Saw You. 



I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of Holly’s Quirky Questions. And rather than promotion slots this week, I enjoyed sharing with you a glimpse of what I’m reading in between words of my own. I shared these three books purely because I wanted to and I hope you enjoy them too. 

 A huge thank you to Ellie and Shelby – you two are amazing! Next week we have Sienna Moreau. 

Until then: Find a Spark of Magic Every Day.